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What is the News?
The Supreme Court has directed that every protected forest, national park, and wildlife sanctuary across the country should have a mandatory eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of a minimum of one km starting from their demarcated boundaries.
What are Eco-Sensitive Zones(ESZ)?
What is the purpose of declaring ESZ?
The purpose of declaring ESZs around national parks, forests, and sanctuaries is to create some kind of “shock absorber” for the protected areas.
These zones would act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to those involving lesser protection.
What are the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court related to ESZ?
Mandatory ESZ around Protected Areas
Every protected forest, national park, and wildlife sanctuary across the country should have a mandatory eco-sensitive zone(ESZ) of a minimum of one km starting from their demarcated boundaries.
In case any national park or protected forest already has a buffer zone extending beyond one km, that would prevail.
In case the question of the extent of the buffer zone is waiting for a statutory decision, then the court’s direction to maintain the one-km safety zone would be applicable until a final decision arrives under the law.
Mining should not be permitted around Protected Areas
Mining within the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shall not be permitted.
No permanent structure will be allowed within the ESZ.
The Principal Chief Conservator for each State and the Union Territory has been directed to make a list of subsisting structures within the ESZs and submit reports to the Supreme Court within three months.
Source: The post is based on the article “Keep eco-sensitive zone of 1 km around forests: Supreme Court” published in The Hindu on 4th June 2022.